Weekly Poker Roundup: January 8, 2017

WPN Changes Rake Calculation Method

Last week, the Winning Poker Network (WPN) made a change to the way it attributes rake to players, switching from the “dealt hand” method to the “weighted contributed” method. WPN consists of nine poker rooms, including America’s Cardroom, True Poker, and Poker Host.

The method used to attribute rake is important because it is how loyalty levels and rewards are determined and how bonuses are released. Before January 3rd, anyone who was dealt cards in a hand received credit for their share of the rake taken from the pot. Each player was attributed an equal share of the rake.

Now, with the weighted contributed method, only players who actually put money into the pot are allocated a part of the rake. No more folding, waiting for the perfect hand, and still receiving loyalty points. Now, it is just what it sounds like: those who put money in have rake attributed to them based on what percentage of the pot they were responsible for. This new method, used by most poker rooms nowadays, most benefits those who are very active in hands and therefore generate the most revenue for the poker rooms.

William Hill Withdraws from Czech Republic

In a recent e-mail to affiliates, William Hill announced that it is closing the accounts of customers in the Czech Republic, citing “recent regulatory developments.” William Hill is best known for its sports book, but it has a fairly popular poker room on the iPoker Network, as well.

Though William Hill didn’t specify what these regulatory developments were, they almost certainly have to do with a new Czech gambling law which requires European Union-based online gambling operators to have a Czech license. Only eleven operators currently hold a Czech gaming license and William Hill is not one of them.

The other part of the new law that may keep William Hill and others away is the sky-high taxes it imposes. It is no secret that the man who introduced the original bill, Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, is strongly against internet gambling. Thus, he concocted a tax scheme that could shut the industry down in the country without outright banning it. Licensed operators will have to pay 35 percent of gross gaming revenue on games that use a random number generator. They will also have to pay the 19 percent corporate income tax rate. Lottery and sports betting is taxed at 23 percent in addition to the corporate income tax.

David Peters Wins Dual POY Awards

David Peters made a huge live tournament run at the end of 2016 to claim both the Global Poker Index (GPI) and Cardplayer Player of the Year awards, yanking the titles away from Fedor Holz, who looked like he had them in the bag most of the year.

The two POY systems calculate their points and rankings differently, but because of how Peters performed in the final quarter of the year, the difference really just amounted to the gap by which Peters beat Holz in the final standings. In the GPI, it was very close, while in the Cardplayer standings, he won in a landslide.

From October on, Holz had just one live tournament result that mattered in his POY ranking, whereas Peters strung together several final tables that boosted him to the top. Peters finished fourth in the Aria High Roller 43, won the 2016 Asia Championship of Poker High Roller event, finished fifth in the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic $25,000 High Roller, and ended the year with a third place finish in the European Poker Tour Prague Main Event. While it wasn’t part of the year-end run, David Peters also won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2016.

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